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Affymetrix's CEO Discusses Q1 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

I'll begin with some more general, commercial and operational update before providing more color on each of our business units. As a reminder, our primary operational goals in 2012 include: stabilizing our expression business; increasing our market share in genotyping, particularly targeted human and Ag-Bio applications; building critical mass towards a market-leading position in cytogenetics; and maintaining the growth in our life science reagents business.

From a geographic perspective, Europe and Asia performed well in Q1, while our North America sales lagged particularly for academic customers. Late last year, we changed our global commercial leader, as well as the leadership in both Europe and Japan, and this is reinvigorating our commercial efforts in those markets, and we're seeing that in the numbers. We recently recruited an industry veteran to head up sales and marketing for North America, and I expect that the performance in this critical region will improve under his leadership.

We're also driving hard to further penetrate emerging markets like China, Brazil and Mexico. During the first quarter, we approved investments in these important markets that included the addition of a number of sales reps and a local office in Brazil. We should begin to see the benefits of this investment in the second half of the year as we bring new staff on board.

Now I'd like to discuss our core business. As you're aware, in the fourth quarter of last year, we completed an internal reorganization into 3 business units, including expression, genetic analysis and clinical applications, and life science reagents. I'd like to walk you through the dynamics of each of these business units and their impact on our first quarter results..

I'll begin with our expression business unit, which represents the largest component of our total revenue. This business unit includes all of our array-based expression products, as well as our QuantiGene and Procarta family of RNA and protein expression products. Expression constitutes about 50% of our total revenue and we're making steady progress in stabilizing this business. We're doing this by reinvigorating our commercial efforts to better support our IVT revenue, as well as to augment these more mature products by adding new products to our array-based expression portfolio, including new Panomics mid-plex cell and tissue assays.

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